San Diego Is Now The Most Unaffordable City in California

Written by William Hale

A new study by OJO Labs suggests that San Diego is now the most unaffordable city for home buying in California. The study concluded that San Diego’s unaffordability score is 8.16 —  surpassing the Bay area’s 7.9, and Los Angeles’s 7.87. 

The average San Diegan’s individual income of $68,000 compared to the median home price of $764,000 demonstrates the level of unaffordability here in San Diego, but experts understand the city’s unaffordability problem to be the result of several factors. 

“The main factor I think, is incredibly low inventory which was caused by the pandemic,” said Matt Battiata, of Battiata Real Estate Group.

Battiata also noted that low interest rates have made buying extremely competitive, and the post-COVID phenomenon of people transitioning to remote work has made people hesitant to sell their homes.

But San Diego remains a desirable place to live, thus local politicians and strategists must find a remedy for San Diego’s housing crisis. Norm Miller, a real estate professor at USD suggests that in order to make the city more affordable local leadership should examine current regulation regarding housing size.

“In a lot of neighborhoods, there’s a minimum size that’s too big to be affordable and you can’t subsidize everybody with public housing. You have to make it market affordable and the only way to do that is to allow some smaller homes,” said Miller in an interview with CBS 8.

If local officials fail to generate more housing, then California’s ongoing mass-exodus will only accelerate. As emphasized by Miller, “We’ve lost 600,000 people from California in the last 15 months.” Nobody wants to see economic decline in California, but as individuals and businesses pack their bags, one can understand why people might try their luck outside of California’s unaffordable cities. 

Photo Cred: K.C Alfred/ San Diego Union-Tribune